Alexander H. Stephens.
Alexander Hamilton Stephens was born near Crawfordsville, Ga., on February 11, 1812. His grandfather, Alexander Stephens, was an Englishman and an adherent of Prince Charles Edward, and came to this country in 1746. He settled in the Penn colony, was in several conflicts with the Indians, and was a captain in the Revolutionary War. After the war was over he removed to Georgia. At the age of fifteen Alexander Hamilton became an orphan and was given a place in the school in Washington, Ga., that was being taught by Rev. Alexander Hamilton Webster, a Presbyterian minister, from whom he took his middle name. With the intention of becoming a Presbyterian minister himself, he accepted the offer of their educational society to attend college. He entered Franklin College (afterwards the State University) in 1828, and graduated therefrom in 1832 with the first honors. Having determined not to become a minister, he subsequently taught school, earned the money, and repaid the indebtedness for his education. On July 22, 1834, he was admitted to the bar. In 1836 was elected to the State Legislature, after bitter opposition because of his fight against nullification. This opposition was repeated until 1841, when he declined reëlection. As a member, he favored liberal appropriations for railroads in his State, and, by his advocacy, a charter for the female college at Macon, Ga., was secured, the first in the world for the regular graduation of young women in the classics and sciences; was a delegate to the Charleston Commercial Convention of 1839; was elected to Congress in 1843, on a general State ticket, but supported an act requiring the States to be divided into Congressional districts. He remained in Congress for sixteen years. In 1838-39 he favored the annexation of Texas by resolution of Congress, but opposed President Tyler's treaty of 1844, and also opposed Mr. Polk's Mexican War policy. In 1848, in a personal difficulty with Judge Cone, in Atlanta, growing out of a political